Inspector Andrew Rome

Andrew Rome was born in 1820 in Dumfries, Scotland and travelled to England to obtain work as a tea dealer initially working at Chelmsford.

He joined Essex County Constabulary as a Constable on 7 August 1840 when Admiral McHardy, the First Essex Chief Constable, was still in post.

Constable Rome was then posted to Burnham on Crouch, having been warned by the Chief Constable that would not be allowed to remain in that remote spot for too long for they would soon remove him.

He initially took lodgings with the Stammers family in Southminster and the following year married Sarah Stammers and moved to a house at High Street, Burnham on Crouch where they lived for a few years before moving to a house on Burnham Quay.

The couple were to have 8 children, all of whom were sons.

William Rome, James Fitch Rome, Joseph Andrew Rome, Alfred Rome, Charles Thomas Rome, Andrew Rome, Walter Stammers Rome and Arthur Robert Rome.

Andrew managed to avoid the promised posting and in 1848 the powerful Burnham Oyster Company applied for the permanent services of a Police Officer and so Andrew took up the post along with the rank of Police Inspector.

He became an expert on Marine related law whose opinions were sought on legal matters as well as being an efficient guardian of the rich oyster beds in the Rivers Crouch and Roach as well as looking after the Oyster Company assets on land.

In 1891 a profile of Essex Police Inspectors describes Inspector Rome as a man of great geniality who has made few enemies during his long residence at Burnham.

In the same year he was involved in one of his strangest situations when a whale was driven into the River Crouch and ran aground near to the Holliwell Oyster Pits. Inspector Rome and Mr John Auger, who was one of the Oyster Merchants, attended the scene with a gun and after several shots killed the whale, which was towed back to Burnham.

In March 1897 Andrew retired from Essex Constabulary at the age of 79 years having completed 56 years of service and was awarded a pension of £73 per annum.

A national newspaper then made enquiries and declared him the longest serving Police Officer in the country and to date his length of service has not been beaten.

 Andrew died on 3rd February 1905 and was buried in Burnham Cemetery.

His obituary in the local newspaper described his as one of the best known inhabitants of the Dengie Hundred and deservedly the most highly respected.